Recreation Specialist, Farrier, or Both? Exploring Career Options
Steve Doleac pulled out a glowing, red-hot nail from a portable blast furnace on the back of his pickup truck. He showed the students from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) how to shape the nail using a hammer and anvil. Doleac is a farrier with a thriving part-time business shoeing horses in a small town near the Chesapeake Bay. He is also a recreation specialist for the Clerc Center, and it is in that role that the students know him. Doleac was one of 28 deaf and hard of hearing individuals who participated in this year's Career Awareness Day on April 8.
In today's economy, students need to learn about different career options. Career Awareness Day gave the MSSD students a chance to meet people in person and ask questions about how they got their jobs and what kind of education and training they needed. The students could also ask what people liked and didn't like about their jobs and what kind of salary ranges they could expect.
The MSSD gym was full to the brim with tables where students could stop and chat with people who work for companies, organizations, or programs and people who run their own businesses. Students could learn about a variety of jobs-veterinary medicine, landscaping, video production, dentistry, sports management, photography, financial investment, and more. A Gallaudet professor shared information about a career in education, an interpreter shared information on becoming a certified interpreter for the deaf. A physical fitness trainer challenged students to perform various endurance exercises for either 30 seconds or a minute, with students competing against one another and often coming back to try again to best their previous record.
"We really expanded our program offerings this year, and having the event in the gym gave us more space for demonstrations," said Clerc Center transition specialist Allen Talbert. "We thank all the members of the Deaf professional community for their support." The MSSD juniors and seniors made great connections and found out that taking a flexible approach to career planning may be the key to a successful future.